Passion = Truth? How Jeffrey James Francis Ircink Sees The World? I love when people are passionate about something. That surging of emotion is the one honest measure of what truth is. It's a truthful display of how a person really feels about something or someone at that particular moment. That passion IS truth.

About me...

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Greendale, Wisconsin, United States
Ex-producer of THE REALLY FUNNY HORNY GOAT INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, playwright, actor, singer, outdoorsman, blogger, amateur photog, observer & bitcher, Beach Boys groupie, Brett Favre fanatic, lover of everything Celtic and forever a member in the Tribe of HAIR. Spent most of my life in the Village of Waterford, a small town just outside of the Milwaukee suburbs. After 12 years in North Hollywood, Bel Air and Culver City, Cali, I moved back to Wisconsin in September 2009. No regrets - of moving to LA OR moving back to WI. Have traveled to Belfast, Ireland, Dayton (OH), Manhattan, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, New York, Miami and Sydney, Australia with my plays. Moved back into the Village of Greendale where I was born. Life is good.


Monday, October 31, 2011

BOO! Happy Halloween.

I've been posting this narrative by Tom Waits every Halloween since I started blogging in 2007. Never gets old.

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A Halloween read.

Read this 10-minute short I wrote, JESUS PUSHED A GROCERY CART. Unproduced, but eyeing a Spring 2013 production in Milwaukee. Have had a couple people read it - and they liked. Click on READ MORE for the text. It may just freak you out.

“I hear and behold God in every object...
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my
own face in the glass...”

– Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”,
Leaves of Grass, 1860

“Jesus Pushed A Grocery Cart”

Cast of Characters

THE MAN: 35-55, on-the-go, “with it”, white collar, businessman

THE BUM: 45+, homeless, dirty, mean-spirited, resentful

Setting:  A freeway underpass in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Time:  Right now.

(Los Angeles, California. Evening. A car with the hood up is stalled off the side of the road near a freeway underpass. There’s MAN underneath the car who periodically yells, “Sonofabitch”. He then checks under the hood. He’s dressed casually – nice shoes, jeans and sport jacket. He closes the hood and pulls out his cell.)

MAN: Sonofabitch! (Into the cell.) Hey - it’s me. The car died. I don’t know – it just quit. Yeh I’m fine. I have no idea. I tried. Uh-huh. Where are you right now? Shit. I’m gonna starting walking then. Uh-huh. Yeh. Where? (Looking around.) Um...St. Mary’s Crescent and...just south of Millbrook. I dunno – a couple miles maybe. Yeh. OK. Wait – I could call Triple A for a - hey? Hello? Katie? Sonofabitch! (His phone dies. He tries calling. Nothing.) Sonofabitch! Why me? Every fucking time. Motherfucking piece of shit. Fuck!

(Standing outside the car, the MAN changes out of his suit jacket, puts on a coat, dons a #4 Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings baseball cap and grabs his briefcase, bottled water and a few other personal belongings. Meanwhile, a BUM pushing a grocery cart enters from stage left. Dirty, dressed in rags and holding a VIETNAM VET sign, the BUM stops and sorts through a garbage can. The MAN doesn’t notice the BUM at first, but once he does, he jumps into his car and “busies himself”. The BUM pushes his cart past the MAN’S car, stops for second, then walks up to the car and raps on the window.)

BUM: Need some help? (The MAN waves him off.) What?!

(The MAN rolls the window down.)

MAN: What?

BUM: Do you need some help?

MAN: No. I’m good. Thank you. (Rolls up the window.) Thank you.

(The BUM waves and continues pushing his cart off-stage right. The MAN looks to see that the BUM is gone, then gets out of his car. He’s just about ready to leave stage left when the BUM returns from stage right.)

BUM: Hey, wait up!

(The MAN makes a run for it but drops some papers. The BUM catches up and helps pick up the MAN’S belongings.)

MAN: I got – thanks. (The BUM hands him some papers.) Thank you.

(The MAN tries leaving but the BUM blocks his path.)

BUM: Little car trouble, huh?

MAN: parking it here for a while – for now.

BUM: Where ya going?

MAN: (Beat) To a friend’s.

BUM: Why don’t you just drive there?

MAN: I, but I enjoy walking. I walk a lot.

BUM: Do you know of a place named “Pico Rivera”?

MAN: “Pico Rivera?” Is that a business?

BUM: (More succinctly.) Do-you-know-of-a-place-named-“Pico Rivera”?

MAN: (Irritated.) No.

(Beat. The BUM is still blocking the MAN’S way.)

BUM: Which way you goin’?

MAN: (Nodding.) That way.

BUM: Which way?

MAN: (Pointing stage left.) That way. The way you’re blocking.

BUM: Oh – pardon me.

MAN: Thanks.

BUM: (The MAN exits stage left, downstage.) Sorry! Didn’t mean to block your way! I forgot this is YOUR WORLD!!

(Beat. The BUM disappears stage left. The MAN reappears upstage, stage left, crossing in a diagonal. The MAN and the BUM play a cat and mouse game, crossing the stage a couple times. Finally, the MAN reappears on stage – alone. He stops to rest and rummages through his briefcase, not seeing the BUM emerge from the wings. The BUM spots the MAN and lets his shopping cart fly across the stage in the direction of the MAN. The MAN hears the cart and looks up, just in time to prevent the cart from crashing into him.)

MAN: HEY!? What is your fucking problem, man?! Why are you following me?

BUM: (Approaching the MAN.) I’m not following you.

MAN: Yes you are.

BUM: No – I’m not. I just happen to be going the same way you are. Is there a law that says –

MAN: (Overlapping.) No...fine...go ahead.

BUM: OK. Sorry about the cart. Got away from me. (He takes two steps, turns and stops.) Hey, you got any spare change?

MAN: (Under his breath.) Took’em long enough.

BUM: What’s that?

MAN: I said I wish I had some. (Hands in pockets.) Nope – no change.

BUM: Singles’ll do just fine.

MAN: I don’t have any singles either.

BUM: A five would be even better. Ten…

MAN: Look, I don’t have any ones on me...or fives, or tens... (He takes out his wallet and opens it.) I don’t. See –

BUM: I see some money.

MAN: Huh. I could’ve sworn I didn’t have –

BUM: Ya got plenty to go around. Can I have a dollar? Come on, man. You can spare a buck, can’t ya?

MAN: Yeh – fine. Here’s a dollar. Now can I…go? Alone?

BUM: Sure. If you want.

MAN: Whatdaya mean, ‘if I want’?

BUM: Maybe you want some company.

MAN: I don’t need any company.

BUM: I didn’t say you “needed” company. I said “want”. I thought perhaps you “wanted” some company.

MAN: I do not “want” any company, thank you.

BUM: Ya sure? Doesn’t look like anyone’s comin’ to get you.

MAN: I’m aware of that. That’s why I’m trying to walk home.

BUM: I thought you were walking to a friend’s?

MAN: Yeh – a friend’s and then home.

BUM: A friend’s and then home.

MAN: (Beat) Are you trying to irritate me on purpose or is that just your nature?

BUM: Are you trying to irritate me?

MAN: I’m outta here.

(The MAN starts off stage right. The BUM leaves his cart and follows.)

BUM: Wait!


BUM: (Beat) Nothing. I just didn’t want you to leave me, that’s all.

MAN: (Noticing the BUM’S sign.) Are you really a Vietnam vet?

BUM: No. (The MAN points to the sign.) What? The sign? Listen, brother, I may be a bum but I ain’t stupid. This is how I make my living. People eat this shit up.

MAN: Well it’s a disgrace to those who did serve in Vietnam or any war, for that matter – living, dead or homeless. You should be ashamed of yourself.

BUM: Are you serious? Look at me. You think I’m ashamed of anything I do? (Beat) Are you a veteran?

MAN: No.

BUM: Then maybe you shut your piehole, OK?

MAN: Listen - I feel bad. I really do. I mean, I don’t like to see this happen to anyone anymore than you like living it. It’s a tragedy – really. We all have our dignity and it’s not fair that –

BUM: Don’t bullshit me, man.

MAN: What?

BUM: (Overlapping.) Did you memorize that?

MAN: No –

BUM: (Overlapping.) ‘Cause it sounds memorized.

MAN: I was empathizing with your being homeless.

BUM: I don’t need your empathy. (Pause) Who said I’m homeless anyways?

MAN: Are you serious?

BUM Yeh. What makes you think I’m homeless?

(The MAN looks in the back of the BUM’S cart.)

MAN: Wild guess.

BUM: What – because I push a grocery cart filled with everything I own? That makes me homeless and a bad person?

MAN: I never said you were a bad person. You know what – I’m not having this conversation with you, alright? I’m not responsible for you being on the street, OK? I gave you a buck and now I have to get home.

BUM: But first you’re going to your friend’s.

MAN: Friend’s. Home. Whatever. I’m leaving.

BUM: I’m not a bad person.

MAN: Fine. I believe you. OK? You’re not a bad person.

BUM: Are you?

MAN: Am I a bad person? No.

BUM: How do you know that?

MAN: How should I know?

BUM: Well either you’re a bad person or you’re not. (Beat) I’m sorry. I’m just flipping you shit. (Pause. The BUM eyes the MAN’S hat, then points to the hat.) He’s a crazy motherfucker.

MAN: Who?

BUM: Brett Favre.

MAN: Oh…

BUM: I like Brett Favre. He was a throwback player.

MAN: Yes he was.

BUM: When he threw back, YOU’ALL BETTER WATCH IT! HAHAHA. (Beat) Gunslinger.

MAN: Yep.

BUM: I think the Packers screwed him over.

MAN: Me too.

BUM: Cocksuckers.

MAN: Yeh..

You know what would be funny? If they brought Favre onto the field in a wheelchair when he was like 80 and he was still slinging the football 50 yards in the air. That would be funny. I bet he could do it, too.

MAN: Wouldn’t surprise me. (The BUM sits on the curb.) Didn’t take you for a Favre fan.

BUM: Bums can’t be Favre fans?

MAN: You see? That - why are you always on the defensive?

BUM: Wouldn’t you be if you were me? (Beat) How do you know you’re not a bad person?

MAN: I don’t. (Beat) Bad people are motivated by their own self-interests. I care about other people. I don’t think I’m...inherently a bad person. I may do some not-so-nice things from time to time, but –

BUM: (Interrupting.) I’m a good person, in case you were wondering. Just haven’t had the dice roll in my favor for a while. You know, like some other folk have. (Beat) If you’re not a bad person, why are you trying to get rid of me?

MAN: How am I trying to get rid of you? I gave you money. We’re talking, aren’t we? (Beat) I just wanna get home to my wife, that’s all. Does that make me a bad person? To wanna get home to my wife? I don’t think so.


BUM: Do you take the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior?

MAN: What?

BUM: Do you take –

MAN: I heard what you said. (Beat) I don’t discuss religion – with anyone, including strangers. It brings out the worst in people. It’s no different than having a conversation about sex or politics.

BUM: I didn’t say I wanted to fuck ya.

MAN: You’re a rude man, did you know that?

BUM: Sorta.

MAN: (Beat) Well I sort of believe in Jesus, OK?

BUM: I didn’t ask you if you “believed” in him. I asked if you take him as your savior.

MAN: What’s the difference?

BUM: Anybody can go to Church and say they believe in Jesus. People pray to him all the time when it’s convenient. But accepting Him into your life in an effort to lead your life solely for His purpose? That’s a whole nuther ballgame, brother.

MAN: I’ve got nothing against Jesus. He just hasn’t done me any favors lately, you know what I mean?

BUM: Maybe your view of Jesus is based on the fact that you haven’t let Him into your heart completely – selflessly. The most important thing Jesus said was, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ When Jesus created us he gave us the gift of free will. You’ve got the gift of life. You’ve got a home, a wife who loves you, a job – you’re healthy. You have the opportunity to take advantage of everything the good Lord has placed on this Earth. The question you need to ask yourself is what have you done for Him lately?

MAN: No disrespect but what have you got to be thankful for?

BUM: I’m alive. I’ve accepted Jesus as my Savior. And I have opportunity. Just haven’t taken full advantage of it, is all. I’m waiting for the right moment.

MAN: And when will that be?

BUM: Haven’t figured that out yet. I’ll know it when it’s staring me in the face. Like death. It’s all part of the journey.

MAN: You don’t sound like a –

BUM: A bum?

MAN: If you keep interrupting me I’m not gonna talk to you. (Silence.) What I was trying to ask you is how did you get here? What did you do before?

BUM: It doesn’t matter. I’m here. So are you. (Beat) Do I remind you of Jesus?

MAN: In what way?

BUM: I’m poor. I wear rags. I walk the earth preaching the Word to anyone who’ll listen. People find me inconsequential.

MAN: Except Jesus didn’t have any possessions.

(The MAN points to the shopping cart.)

BUM: I believe there’s a little bit of Jesus in all of us – once you’ve accepted Him into your heart.

MAN: Right. (Beat) I should get going.

BUM: (Rising.) Wait. Before you go, you up for a bit of no-nonsense, words of wisdom from a homeless, Jesus freak?

MAN: If it’ll get me home faster...sure. Why not.

BUM: Two things. Number one. “Hate war but love the American soldier.” Got it?

MAN: Got it. Who said that?

BUM: I just did. And Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, Vietnam Conflict. (Standing at attention.) ATTENTION!

MAN: Ok...what’s the second thing?

BUM: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus said that.

MAN: That I know. That’s good. I’ll remember them both. Thanks.

BUM: Glad to help.

MAN: I...uh...didn’t catch your name.

BUM: Jesus.

MAN: (Beat. Grinning.) OK...Jesus.

BUM: What’s yours?

MAN: Pedro. Pete.

BUM: OK, Pedro Pete. You don’t look like a Pedro.

MAN: I go by Pete mostly. Pedro’s a family name. My mother’s Mexican and my father’s Irish. (Beat) You don’t look like a Jesus.

BUM: Do any of us appear as we really are?


MAN: Well - good luck.

(The MAN reaches out his hand.)

BUM: Peace, brother.

(They shake hands. The BUM pulls the MAN into him, gives him a hug, then suddenly the MAN gasps and looks down. The BUM has thrust a knife into the MAN’S stomach and holds it there. The BUM kisses the MAN’S cheek as the MAN looks into the BUM’S eyes. The BUM thrusts the knife once more. The MAN pulls away.)

MAN: You another...

(The MAN falls.)

BUM: (The BUM wipes the knife on his pants, then places it in his shopping cart.) No...Jesus Christ said that. (The BUM goes through the MAN’s pockets, grabbing his wallet and anything else he finds. He takes the MAN’S coat off and his shoes. He tries the shoes on – they fit – and tosses all the MAN’S possessions into his shopping cart. The BUM does not take the MAN’s hat.) I’m sorry...I truly am. I’m just another lost soul in need of saving, brother – just like you. ‘Member...the good and the bad people? The Lord will forgive me though, I reckon. He forgives everyone. (The BUM sets out, then turns back to the MAN.) Oh – got another one for you...“Do as I say, not as I do.” I like that one. Not sure who said it though. A lot of people I suppose. I’ll pray for you, brother. Enjoy the journey, and remember - Jesus loves you.

(The BUM leaves.)

MAN: Jesus loves you?

(The MAN dies.)


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Me, Taylor & Art. Austin Film Festival. Part Uno.

What's really cool about this is that I became Facebook friends with Taylor a couple years back, largely due to the fact that she's a backup singer for Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys (and I've been a BB groupie since high school). So we struck up a friendship. Trusting on her part? In most cases, perhaps - but I'm different. And she and her hubby, Todd Sucherman, drummer for Styx, who I've also met (once) know my high school buddy, Art (pictured), who is one of the executive producers of our short film, PASS THE SALT, PLEASE. Small world? Yes?

Art and I attended the Austin Film Festival and met Taylor for lunch. She and I had met on two other occasions and this was by far the most rewarding....more relaxed, no one around to bother us. Definitely one of the highlights of the trip. (Except she keeps pushing me to get the new Apple iPhone and I'm not a cell phone fan.)

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Heard @ Austin Film Festival.

"Pass the Salt, Please is WAY up there on my list of favorite films this year…Top 5. Glad I got to see it!"

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Friday, October 21, 2011

TGIF! presents....Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know"!

Wonderfully creative tune.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nancy Wilson of Heart.

How is it that I'm just finding out now that she's been divorced from her hubby for a year now?? I love Nancy Wilson.

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PASS THE SALT, PLEASE hits Orlando! It's "Outrageous!"

Here's our listing. They've got Max's name in place of Tat's name. ;) 7 pm at Theater 12. One of the directors of this festival saw PTSP at the Palm Springs Shortsfest Film Festival and contacted Tatjana, asking her if we'd be interested in screening in Orlando. I had planned to attend but then the Austin FF came up and one of our producers lives there, so....

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Austin Film Festival...with a sidetrip to Dripping Springs!

Off to the Austin Film Festival today. Seems I'm 171 years too late to experience the Austin as pictured above. Oh well.....first things first. Or...maybe that postcard is Dripping Springs?? My high school friend and co-executive producer of our short film, PASS THE SALT, PLEASE, Art Edstrom, is picking me up at the airport and taking me to his home in Dripping Springs, population = 2,000. Gateway to the Hill Country. Home of Jesse James (the guy on TV). And the springs don't drip...they trickle. Steadily.

Heading to Austin Thursday morning thru Sunday and back to DS for a Monday return to Milwaukee. Will try and keep you up to speed as to the goings-ons at AFF. 

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Thanks, HIFF...and Mahalo!

There's Diana Jackson O'Keeffe, one of the producers of PASS THE SALT, PLEASE, and her husband, Jamie O'Keeffe, who supervised the music for the film....on the red carpet at the Hawaiian International Film Festival and the screening of our film.

According to Diana's Facebook page, "Thank you HIFF for a welcome reception and fabulous Q&A. Go TEAM SALT. The theatre was in hysterics."

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

leaves + water + porcelain bucket.


How sweet the silent backward tracings!
The wanderings as in dreams - the meditation of old times resumed - their loves, joys, persons, voyages.

by Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass, 1891-92

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Amy (left, friend from Iowa City) and Jen (college friend) attended our short film screening at the Chicago International Film Festival. No matter how many times I've seen our film (this was the first time the film opened the 6-film short program), it's always wonderful seeing it with friends and family.

The screening was sold out and the audience was very appreciative. The Q&A afterwards went well - I didn't embarrass myself or the film so that's always good. Still have that cough (over a week now) so I wasn't up for the party at Public in Chicago. Too bad - finally connected with my CIFF contact, Penny, and met Becky who was volunteering for the festival and is a filmmaker in her own right and would have liked to talk to more. Next week it's on to the Austin Film Festival!

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PASS THE SALT, PLEASE screens today at Hawaiian Int'l. Film Festival!

@ the Dole Cannery E venue, 9:15 pm. Click here for our film info. Mahalo!

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Friday, October 14, 2011

PASS THE SALT, PLEASE screens at Chicago Int'l. Film Festival tonight!

@ 7:15 pm. AMC Rivereast 21, as part of the IN 'n OUT shorts program. Who from the Chicago contingent will be there? Here's our film mention and an article of films not to miss in The Huffington Post - our film isn't singled out but the shorts program we're included in is.

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TGIF! presents....German industrial dancing! ACHTUNG!

Interesting stuff, this German industrial dancing shit. First came across this genre a couple days ago by accident. Here's that link, which includes the threesome group above and another favorite of mine (the first five dancers), but the dance track has been switched to Dutch polka music.

And yet, they all still dance the same. Hmmmmm....

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PASS THE SALT, PLEASE is playing in Warsaw,!

9:30 a.m. CST. 4:30 p.m. Polish time. Here's the info on their sight. I understand (rant coming) that "film" is a director's medium. Fine. However, every film festival should include the writer's name (some do, some don't). The film didn't just magically appear for the director to say, "hmmmm...this would make a great film".

Niech otrzymywać z tym, Polska!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dear Amazon...Fuck you.

Dear Amazon,

Since March 2007 when I began blogging, I've displayed your banner at the top of my blog so that when people click on it to get to your site (and they purchase items), I can make some coinage. Not a lot - my purpose was never to make money blogging. I mainly thought of it as a service to my readers.

So I get this check in the mail - for referrals - for $21.00. Cool. Wait - that's gross. You conveniently subtracted a $15 check processing fee, leaving me $6.

Fuck you. Your banner was just deleted off my blog. Did I say, "fuck you", already? Fine...then fuck off.


Jeff Ircink
PS - I sent an email to customer service complaining about this issue. I still haven't heard back. Fuckers.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

From London, with love...

"The screening (PASS THE SALT, PLEASE on Sept. 30) went well, the room was almost full and everybody was very happy! It's a shame you could not make it to London! Wish you all the best, Marion Perrin"

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hey! Tim Hensiek! I hear the Feds knocking on your door!!!

The Facebook page, WI State Workers against Scott Walker, for all it's worth, is a rant against the actions of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Obviously, this "felon" is not representative of most of the people on this site. They do make points (doesn't matter that I disagree with them the majority of the time) and that is their right.

This man, Tim Hensiek, should be arrested for threatening a government official. And the nerve of commenters on WI State Workers against Scott Walker to say I spread hatred with my trolling on their FB page?

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You guys...!!!!

Whatdaya know? An entire town in Co. Tipperary, Ireland rootin' for ya.

I spent some time in Ardfinnan while vacationing in Ireland in the fall of 2009. Thomas (and the town) are referring to our short film, PASS THE SALT, PLEASE, that's been making the festival circuit rounds.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Milwaukee Film Festival draws to a close.

The VIJ party (that's "very important jeff") and awards brunch was held earlier today at the home of Andrew Nunemaker (MFF board member) which overlooked Lake Michigan (did I say the home was absolutely gorgeous?). My friend Chrissy accompanied me and we had a blast. Above:  TJ Fackelman, MFF program manager, me and Jonathan Jackson, MFF artistic and executive director.

Above:  Anna Sampers, MFF development coordinator & shorts programmer.

MFF...what a class act. Very impressive...what the fest folk pulled off and how they did it. Obviously thisis my favorite of all the festivals we've been involved with 'cause it's my hometown. Not sure if I'll ever have another film entered in this festival (cause I'm strictly a playwright; our film, PASS THE SALT, PLEASE, was adapted from my play) but you never know. I'm thinking about volunteering next year.

Chrissy and I playing in Andy's home. What's next for PTSP, you're asking yourself. Ha. Well, we head to the Chicago International Film Festival next week, the Warsaw (the Poland Warsaw), St. Louis, Austin, Orlando and Hawaii. I'll be attending the Chicago and Austin festivals. I finally get to see the Alamo in San Antonio....

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